Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Donate $125 Million USD to Develop COVID-19 Vaccine

Bill Gates and wife Melinda Gates are investing in the race for a cure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

On Thursday, the billionaire Microsoft co-founder, 64, appeared during The Daily Show, discussing the pandemic with host Trevor Noah. During the conversation, Gates announced that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation plans to help fund seven factories working on potential vaccines, even though they may not all pan out.

Gates explained that, though a “few billion” dollars could go to “waste” on the efforts that are deemed not viable, it’s key to work on safety and efficacy at the same time as manufacturing so as not to waste vital time. Since government protocol would elongate the process, Gates said his foundation can get the ball rolling on the prospects simultaneously.

“But a few billion in this situation we’re in where there’s trillions of dollars being lost economically, it is worth it,” he said. “… Every month counts.”

Last month, the foundation announced that it would contribute $125 million to finding potential COVID-19 treatments and to accelerate their developments, according to a press release.


Microsoft (MSFT) founder and philanthropic billionaire Bill Gates is spending billions of dollars on seven possible vaccines for the coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, in hopes of finding an end to the pandemic.

Through his philanthropic organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates revealed that he was funding several efforts in partnership with other companies and countries to “save months, because every month counts.”

“Our early money can accelerate things,” Gates told The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. “Of all the vaccine constructs, the seven most promising of those, even though we’ll end up picking at most two of them, we’re going to fund factories for all seven, and just so that we don’t waste time in serially saying, ‘Okay, which vaccine works?’ And then building the factory.”

Gates added that spending a few billion dollars during “the situation we’re in, where there’s trillions of dollars — that’s a thousand times more — trillions of dollars being lost economically, it is worth it.”

Microsoft founder, Co-Chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates delivers a speech during the conference of Global Fund to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria in 2019, in Lyon, France. (Photo: LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images)
Microsoft founder, Co-Chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates delivers a speech during the conference of Global Fund to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria in 2019, in Lyon, France. (Photo: LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images)

The ultimate solution… is to create a vaccine’

There are more than 330,000 cases of the coronavirus infection in the U.S., surpassing the rest of the world, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins as of Monday morning.

“This is a nightmare scenario, because human-to-human transmission of respiratory viruses can grow exponentially,” Gates told Fox News on Sunday. “And we had kept on going to work, traveling like we were.” 

Gates noted that with the introduction of extreme social distancing and improved testing, both of which he called for previously, the situation could improve so that the overall death toll falls short of the 100,000-240,000 estimated by the White House.

Coronavirus cases are still on the rise. (Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)
(April 6th, 2020) Coronavirus cases are still on the rise. (Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)

“If we do the social distancing properly, we should be able to get out of this with the death number well short of that,” Gates said. “I do think we get the testing fixed, we get all 50 states involved, we’ll be below that. Of course we’ll pay a huge economic price in order to achieve that.”

Sources: Yahoo News / People



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